The Hidden Treasure in Kumaon
It was our 2nd venture to Kumaon by our own car, the first being to Mukteswar and Naukuchiyatal. We always prefer to travel to serene places away from the tourist crowd and market places—hence the option was obvious-SITALAKHET.
We took the route from Delhi to Ramnagar – Corbett—Ranikhet—Sitalakhet. The road from Ramnagar through Corbett is a dream path amidst the green forests with frequent visitors like monkeys and langoors all over the jungle road. We even spotted an alligator which made an excellent camouflage with the metallic road. It took around 9-10 hrs to reach Sitalakhet, as we were enjoying every bit of our journey specially the 10 kms stretch from Kathpuriya to Sitalakhet through thick forest area.
Next day early morning before sunrise we were again on the terrace to get some view of the sunrise. It was chilling cold outside and my daughter rushed inside the room and plunged into the bed, and preferred to have her second round of nap. I and Subhransu were waiting with our heart panting –it was utter silence as there were no other boarders in the rest house. Gradually the sky turned orange, then red and lastly crimson—the first glimpse of the rays of the sun peeped through the distant mountains and fell on the trees, I was breathless, slowly the sun started rising—a hot glow of fire emerged from the distant mountains and filled the entire sky with its spectrum of hues—we were mesmerized and totally dumbstruck. It was a life long experience—Sitalakhet gave us all that we cherished for.
We had earlier booked one room in the KMVN Tourist Rest House, the only accommodation here. It is located amidst thick forests and is indeed very comfortable. We settled ourselves in the room, ordered our lunch and behold! As I opened the exit door of the room I found myself on a huge terrace facing the front side of the Rest House. In front of us stood a 180 degree panoramic view of the snow clad peaks of the Himalayas. We never thought that Sitalakhet has such an enchanting beauty. The terrace was an awesome place and we decided to spend most of our time here in ultimate leisure, till then quite oblivious of the fact what is expecting us next.
There is a temple of Syahi Devi where the locals offer their prayers. One has to trek through the forested road to reach there. We opted to stay in the rest house and have our last glimpse of the Himalayas before we move to our next destination of Binsar.
Sitalakhet is a bliss for nature lovers where one’s soul will find peace within-miles away from the grandeur of city life and luxuries,this place is a paradise for the photographers.So next time you plan to rejuvenate yourself-there can be no other option than SITALAKHET-a nature’s paradise-a hidden treasure on the lap of the Himalayas.